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The Kindest Man

Joel Barnhart
June 21, 2011

Photo by: Dayn MrGold B°udreau

I've mentioned in a lot of previous articles that I really like artsy, droning instrumental music, but I sadly have never had a chance to write about it, as there are no bands in the region that completely fit that profile. The closest I've come to a band like that in the area is We Want Barabbas, who I mentioned in my review of the All in the Family show at Mikado, but even they had elements that I didn't particularly care for.

That all changed recently when my room mate, who is now a photographer for Niagara Music Scene, saw a band that was opening at a Lambs Become Lions show he was covering. I was at work, like a sucker, and he texted me to inform me that I would love the band that was playing. He went on to describe their sound as something akin to Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and Russian Circles, who are among my favourite bands.

A few weeks later, I was hanging out in my basement (or the Merchant Ale House, to the uninitiated), when I was introduced to a guy named Alex, who asked me how I felt about instrumental music. I told him that I was a huge fan, and he told me of his band, The Kindest Man, and agreed to have me come to an upcoming show at the Mansion House to cover his band.

After weeks of eager anticipation, I finally went to the show. The show started with a pre-recorded loop to set the mood for the rest of the set. The band has a rotating lineup, where each song features different musicians, so this kept the audience in the right mood during what would otherwise have been periods of silence while the musicians switched spots.

The band began to play, and I was suddenly euphoric. Their first song began with heavy pattern drumming and kicked off with a simple repetitive melody. A lot of people read the words "simple" and "repetitive" and think it's a bad thing, and while it can be, done right, it's nothing shy of wonderful. These guys did it right. And besides, hip hop beats as a general rule are simple and repetitive, and I don't hear you complaining about that. So there.

Their second track was just as fantastic, but unfortunately they had to stop their set early, due to technical difficulties.

I'm not going to lie, I was severely disappointed. Imagine you're having a romantic evening with your sweetie, and you know that it's going to lead to some banging. You're about to seal the deal, when suddenly, your sweetie experiences technical difficulties, if you will, and you can't continue. You were all excited, and it was replaced with crushing disappointment. That's what it was like for me. If happiness were a genre of music, that is how I would categorize The Kindest Man. I was cathartic, and then it ended too early and I was left disappointed and wanting more. As with the above metaphor, all you have left to do is suck it up and try and satisfy yourself with the next best thing. In my case that meant going home and listening to Godspeed You! Black Emperor. And masturbating.

The next time I saw them was at the OPRIG info shop during a fundraiser show. This time as well they were only able to play two songs, but this was because of a time constraint, not technical difficulties. It was a fantastic show, but still not as long as I would have liked (boy if I had a nickle for every time I've been told that. Hey-oh). There were some other performers at the show who I also enjoyed, Jamie Godard for instance, who performed hip hop with an acoustic guitar.

Fortunately, They have another show coming up, again with Lambs Become Lions and several other bands. I'll sure as s**t be going. If you think you're interested, the details can be found here:,

I particularly enjoy the track "The Last Time We Were Sad And Started To Share Happiness". Seriously, check them out or you'll never be able to smile again.

- Joel Barnhart -
Check out The Kindest Man here!